Caught by Time

A poem about past and present colliding

Art by Anna K Williams

Why are you doing this? Daring with the edge so much…
Stop, turn around. I’ll hold you.

The words slip from me as a final breath, I cannot catch them.
There’s a hook pulling my heart, taming it as a wild fish 
The water is not where I want to be but I also don’t want to go,
Searching for some unknown atmosphere I could breathe in
And reach out to you better than words would ever do.

I’m handcuffed by time and its inability to let me trespass
The rules shout out by raging guard dogs that would tear me apart
Before our fingers could even touch.
Time is the villain of our dissatisfactions.

Stop, please.
I know I cannot even hold myself but I’d hold you.
I’d turn it all off, the smells and the sounds,
The colors and the wounds.
I’d change the meaning of the words 
Turn his speech into a vow.
You need to stop this now!

Reality has a cruel carcass to always remind us we’re awake
The air falls dense as a widow’s veil
With the prohibitions of existing before and beyond the time given
And watching as history unraveled with those we’ve kept in love with,
Not even another face and another place could destroy.

The living go on with their march, searching for explanations
A reason for everything they experience
Trying to make connections as a spider web, aimless,
Hoping the final result is, at least, beautiful.
We try to understand the purpose of our many legs and threads
Watching the ones before and where they were caught
Powerfully fragile and dangerous to approach,
Cobwebs still kill flying bugs, even if the spiders are long gone.

Stop.
Please.
Stop or thread me along.